Bangladesh is among the fastest-growing economies in the world and with it comes technological advancements and opportunities, many of which are in the form of startups are incubating the next big idea.
Many of today's largest multinational companies, the ones that shape our perception and the way we interact with the world, were once startups themselves.
Bangladesh is nothing short of a land of opportunities. Startups are among the fastest vectors of development for a country in the information age and will play a pivotal role in pushing Bangladesh's developmental objectives forward in the coming decades.
However, a startup is a different kind of beast to tame, one that requires the brilliance and drive of the youth to fuel and flourish.
The catch-22 of startups is the stigma that surrounds it and unintentionally keeps the youth at bay - the fear of failure. Given the choice, young minds will opt for the prestige of working at big and established companies instead of the small startups to launch their careers, yet, the seemingly obvious choice has its pitfalls.
The prestige and financial benefits offered by a big company cannot surely be compared to what a startup, unsure of its survival, can offer but it can provide something far more valuable; the unrestrained freedom to learn, grow, brainstorm, and experiment.
This philosophy is entangled in the heart of every startup that is destined for greatness and can, at best, be emulated within a big corporation with their hierarchical organogram.
Big companies do not do this on purpose either; they are fully aware of the benefits of allowing young minds to stretch their mental muscles but they do not have a choice. They are big entities with thousands of employees and big challenges that an industry veteran would find daunting to tackle by themselves let alone a fresh graduate.
Fresh graduates, with their virtually limitless drive and energy, become just another cog in the well-oiled business machine, playing their small role in big projects.
In contrast, no matter how small scales startups offer, young minds get the opportunity to ideate, plan, and execute an entire project and most importantly, get the opportunity to witness how their ideas affect the real world.
It is an experience that serves to both empower young minds and give them a crucial taste of reality checks. They get a chance at success to build something out of nothing as they stare at failure dead in the eye. In essence, the experiences that are crucial to building the next generation of corporate leaders.
The unrivaled hardship and dedication the brilliant youth can muster is the lifeline of startups, their unorthodox ways of thinking is exactly what startups need to improve a system that has existed for generations or assemble tomorrow's necessities today.
But it is also difficult for the young minds to comprehend these opportunities in disguise without having stepped in both shoes. This is where university and startup partnerships can go a long way.
Universities, being the students' stepping stone into the real world, are in a uniquely advantageous position to make their students aware of the benefits and opportunities that lay on both sides of the fence so they may make an informed decision.
Hosting recognition and reward incentivised competitions, hackathons, and workshops to make the students aware of all the interesting 'bite-sized' problems that await them would arguably encourage more talent to venture into the world of startups.
It would also encourage more young minds to pursue their dreams of launching their own startups, ones that may someday become big enough to attract foreign investors or maybe even change our day-to-day lives for the better.
Educational institutions, in general, unintentionally instill a fear of failure among their students. A fear that can oftentimes have cripplingly detrimental effects on the brilliant but young minds. A fear that is, to a large extent, very quickly shed as the young mind walks the path of startups. It instead teaches them that failing is fine as long as they 'fail different failures'.
Shadman Sakib is a Bangladeshi born entrepreneur in Britain, has won the Sixth Annual Technology Innovator Awards under the "Best Interactive Short Video Platform – California, USA" category.